Surviving Life

Surviving Life, the most recent — and if his claims are to be believed, last — offering of madness from Jan Švankmajer begins with an apology from the director himself. It seems the Czech master of surrealist animation intended the feature to be fully live-action, but due to budgetary restraints, was forced to adopt a cut-out style (à la Terry Gilliam’s work for Monty Python) to convey the bulk of his twisted tale. A self-described “psychoanalytical comedy,” the film follows the travails of soul-deadened office worker Eugene, as he attempts by way of therapy to reconcile his dreary waking life with his increasingly bizarre and rewarding dream life. The two lives quickly begin to get jumbled, however, yielding an onslaught of wild, prismatic visions replete with arguing portraits of Jung and Freud, enormous wrestling tongues and a nude woman with a chicken head. Like any Švankmajer film, Surviving Life is a unique and twisted vision that must be seen to be believed.
Dir. Jan Svankmajer, 2010, 35mm, 109 min.

Watch the trailer for “Surviving Life”!
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